Using Preserved Lemons in Cooking

Preserved lemons will keep for quite a while in the fridge. They are preserved, after all. Kept refrigerated, these lemons will keep for about a year, so don’t feel that you have to rush to use them up before they go bad.

You eat the whole lemon, rind and all — though we’d recommend removing the seeds first. Rinse them quickly under cool water to remove excess salt and then chop them up for your dish. Under the influence of salt, the intense bitterness of the rind and pith mellow out and develop a sunny lemony character. Try a piece of the preserved lemon on its own and you’ll understand what we mean!

Now onto how to use those lemons once you have them. Here are five ideas:

1. Grain Salads: Tender morsels of preserved lemon in a bite of farro salad or barley pilaf that makes us hum and zing. Any time you’d normally add lemon zest or a squeeze of juice to a recipe, you can swap in some preserved lemon and be confident with the result.

2. Salad Dressings and Sauces: Chopped pieces of preserved lemon make a fantastic addition to any salad, and are great to whizz them into a salad dressing. You can also experiment with blending preserved lemons into pesto or into a sauce for grilled fish or meats. Preserved lemons and fish are delicious together!

3. Salsas and Dips: Want something new to spice up your salsas and dips this summer? Yup, preserved lemons will serve you very well. Just chop them up into little pieces and add them to your normal recipes. Guacamole, hummus, spicy salsas — it’s all fair game – so scrumptious.

4. Pasta Dishes: A simple pasta dish with good olive oil, garlic, and slices of preserved lemons tantalises the taste buds. Top seared or bbq chicken breast or fish for a full meal.

5. Tagines and Other Stews: Chicken tagine with preserved lemons is certainly the most well-known dish for these lemons, but there’s a great big world of tagines out there. We love preserved lemon in chickpea stews and anything with lamb. Even if your tagine or stew doesn’t call for preserved lemons specifically, experiment with a little impromptu recipe tweaking!

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